|Stylized Minimalism, 2009, C.D. Willis|
|Prescriptions Filled, 1983, Richard Estes|
That's exactly what Minimalism was all about, stark, flat, linear design, without representational subject matter, certainly, but no less impersonal. The subtleties of scale, shape, mass, line and color are what makes a Minimalist painting fascinating--for about two minutes (three tops). Yet, using these same elements, Estes' paintings fascinate us for perhaps hours. We are so enraptured by his Super- Realism (sometimes called Photo-Realism) that it may be several minutes before we even notice the absence of human habitation. (Most, but not all of Estes' work is devoid of human presence.) We get so involved with "how-could-he-possible-do-that?" painting skills of the artist that the painting begins to seem more real than the scene itself. Yet strangely, when you take the time to think about it, a Minimalist painting is more real. It exists. It is not an illusion of something non-existent.